The vice-president for high performance at the German Tennis Federation (DTB) has announced that his federation will vote to change the newly implemented ITF Transition Tour.
Dirk Hordorff has become the latest figure to voice his opposition against the controversial revamp. The International Tennis Federation has made changes to the lower level tournaments in a bid to help more players achieve a better income on the tour. Under the new system, tournaments will be staged within a more localise circuit to make costs lower for both players and tournaments. On top of that, ITF ranking points have been brought in instead of ATP and WTA Points for the lower level events.
In wake of the changes, many players have voiced anger with some saying that they have been left worse off. Croatian player Ana Vrljić is one of the critics. In a lengthy Facebook, she wrote that it is now harder for players to break out onto the main tour.
“Players could see a clear path for them if they play good for a year, if they are consistent eventually they would get there. With these new rules, players lost that vision, they lost seeing it clearly how to get to the top cause it seems almost impossible.” Vrljić wrote.
It now seems that the dissatisfaction with the new circuit is prompting a backlash from some national federations. Hordorff, who is also a fierce critic of the Davis Cup revamp, has sent out a message to urge players to ask their own national tennis bodies to vote against the current transition tour.
“So many active and former players asked for help regarding this changes on the tour. It’s a shame that all are suffering on these changes. I haven’t found anybody supporting this.” He wrote on Facebook.
“My advice to all players: Go to your national federation and ask them to officially announce their support for the change of this reform.
“I will do my best to support this initiative from the German Tennis Federation as Vice President for High Performance Tennis. The DTB was not in favour of this reform and we will vote to change this.”
Under the new system, WTA points are awarded to women playing in events that have $25,000 in prize money or more. In men’s tennis, $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit events will offer both ATP ranking points (later rounds) and ITF Entry Points (all rounds); while the qualifying rounds of ATP Challenger tournaments will also offer both ATP ranking points (all events) and ITF Entry Points (events up to $125,000 in prize money). Under the new system, players can use their ITF ranking to enter into professional tournaments.
If in a really good week there was 4 CH's and 2 $25k events, 37 players could use their ITF ranking to secure spots. As it stands, not one of those eligible is a junior. That means in theory you can have guys in their 30's pushing out a 20 year old with a better ATP ranking. pic.twitter.com/4UJR3iztZT
— Paul Timmons (@PaulT_Tennis) February 3, 2019
Concerning the men’s tour, Hordorff has claimed that the ATP had previously pledged to hand out ranking points to all of the tournaments. However, it is alleged that the ITF didn’t agree to a condition to not sell their data to betting companies. This conversation came up in the wake of a report into tennis corruption by the IRP. The report recommended that all tournaments shouldn’t have a sponsorship agreement with a betting company.
Since the publication of this article, the ITF have contacted Ubitennis to clarify the claims that has been made by Hordorff. The ITF’s Executive Director of Communications & Digital, Heather Bowler, has stated that there is no truth in the claims concerning ranking points.
“There is no truth in the social media posts referred to that ATP ranking points for the ITF World Tennis Tour were conditional on data sales.” Bowler states.
The ITF will be holding a media conference to present the ITF World Tennis Tour in the coming weeks.
ITF Chief Addresses Iga Swiatek’s Concerns Over Unsafe Scheduling
The head of the International Tennis Federation is ‘sorry’ that Iga Swiatek will not be participating in the Billie Jean Cup and has vowed to work on making improvements to the 2023 schedule.
The women’s world No.1 issued a statement on Monday confirming her withdrawal from the team event after taking a swipe at both the ITF and WTA over their scheduling. Swiatek said she had hoped to represent Poland in the Billie Jean Cup but its proximity to the WTA Tour Finals is problematic. The end-of-season WTA event takes place in Texas and ends a day before the start of the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow.
“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone,” Swiatek said in a statement published on her Instagram account.
“The situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.
“I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our sport.”
ITF chief executive David Haggerty has insisted that his organization has been working with the WTA but they were unable to find a more suitable date as the venue for the Tour Finals wasn’t confirmed until late in the season. The event is likely to return to China next year. The women’s tennis body has suspended its events in the country amid concerns over the safety of player Peng Shuai who previously accused a senior government official of sexual assault.
“The ITF is sorry that Iga Swiatek is unable to take part… and recognises that the schedule for the two major year-end events presents a challenge for players competing in both events,” Haggerty told the Reuters news agency.
“We have been working with the WTA to try to coordinate suitable dates.
“While we were able to confirm the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow back in June, the WTA Finals venue in Fort Worth, Texas was confirmed during the U.S. Open and restricted in terms of available dates.”
The tennis official adds that negotiations are ongoing to find a more suitable schedule for 2023 for players to play both events if they wish to do so.
“We are committed to working with the WTA on the 2023 schedule so that we have a better transition between the two competitions,” he said.
Haggerty states that provisions would have been made for Poland to play their opening match in the 12-team competition as late as possible to accommodate Swiatek’s travel from America if she had wished to play this year.
The WTA Finals will be held between 31 October – 7 November and the Billie Jean King Cup will take place from 8 November – 13 November.
Davis Cup Will Be A Chance To Honour Queen Elizabeth II, Says Andy Murray
The LTA has decided to go ahead with staging the event following the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has paid tribute to the Queen by saying the upcoming Davis Cup event in Glasgow will provide an opportunity to celebrate her life.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away last Thursday at the age of 96 which has sent Britain into a period of national mourning. She was the longest reigning member of the British Royal family in history with her reign lasting 70 years between 1952-2022. The Queen presented Virginia Wade with the Wimbledon trophy in 1977 which is the last time a British woman has won the title.
Murray was knighted by the Royal Family after winning Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal for the second time. The former world No.1 believes this week’s Davis Cup will be used as a way for those involved to pay their respects.
“It’s obviously been a very sad week with the news about the Queen passing away, but I think here will be a chance for everyone to show how much she meant to everyone,” Murray told Sky Sports.
Ahead of Great Britain’s first tie against America on Wednesday, there will be a one-minute silence. The British team will also wear black armbands or ribbons throughout the event as a mark of respect.
“I’m sure there’ll be songs sung and a minute’s silence observed,” Murray continued.
“She obviously had an amazing life and I think here, these few days when GB are competing, will be a chance to celebrate her and everything that she did.
“I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to play in front of her and compete at Wimbledon when she came along to watch which was a really nice memory for me.”
Murray, who was an instrumental figure in Britain last winning the Davis Cup in 2015, will be hoping to help his team secure this place in the finals later this year. Besides America, they will also face the Netherlands and Kazakhstan in the tournament.
The host team will also feature Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski. They must finish the week inside the top two to secure their place in the finals which will take place in Malaga between November 22-27.
“It’s an opportunity for us to use all of the players in the team,” Murray commented.
“It’s a bit different [this time]. Obviously we have a very strong team, a lot of depth, which hasn’t always been the case over the last 20 years or so.
“Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski originally would play pretty much all of the matches together. Then I played the bulk of the singles and doubles matches for a period of time.
“It’s obviously great to be playing back in the Davis Cup, representing Great Britain again, I’ve always loved doing it, especially here at the Emirates.”
Glasgow is one of four countries hosting the group stages of the competition along with Bologna in Italy, Hamburg in Germany and Valencia in Spain.
The competition will take place between 13-18 September.
Great Britain To Play Billie Jean King Cup Finals After Glasgow Picked As Host Nation
The UK will stage the finale of the women’s biggest team tennis event for the first time in over 30 years.
The International Tennis Federation has selected Glasgow as the host nation of this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals following a successful bid from the British LTA.
A total of 12 nations will participate in the six-day event which will be held between November 8-13 at the Emirates Arena. A facility originally built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that has since staged various events, including Davis Cup ties. It has a seating capacity of roughly just over 8000 people. This year’s finals will be held on indoor hardcourts.
It is only the fourth time Britain has staged the finals of the tournament which was previously known as the Fed Cup. It was previously held in London 1963, Eastbourne 1977 and Nottingham 1991.
“We are delighted to be bringing the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals to Glasgow. The LTA presented a very impressive bid as part of a competitive hosting process. They have successfully hosted Davis Cup ties in Glasgow, and we look forward to having the women’s World Cup of Tennis take place in front of passionate tennis fans from around the world in an electric atmosphere, at the culmination of the women’s tennis season.” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.
Great Britain automatically qualifies for the final as they are the hosts. They will be joined by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland and USA. The format of the round-robin event will see the teams split into four groups of three. The will of each group will then progress to the knockout stages.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build the profile of women’s tennis and focus attention on women’s sport. The entire team are very excited about playing in front of a home crowd and hearing some loud support across the whole week.” British captain Anne Keothavong commented.
The Russian Tennis Federation won the tournament last year but they will not be allowed to participate this year. Russian and Belarussian teams have been suspended from taking part in ITF team events as the result of the Ukraine war. Russia launched a ‘special military’ operation on February 24th and Belarus is suspected of supporting them.
The draw for the Billie Jean King Cup finals will take place at a later date.
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